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World Affairs








Seeing is believing

Mervyn Silva has become the talk of the town. On private electronic and print media we see and hear much about the latest dastardly act of this notorious non-cabinet Minister also known as Vermin. He is the number one terrorist in the cabinet where all government members are ministers.

The irony of it is that the Prime Minister says that the SAARC leaders who met in Colombo pledged to defeat terrorism in the region; but the President, Prime Minister and the media minister cannot defeat the notorious terrorist in the cabinet.

According to Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, no one is above the law. Then what about Mervyn Silva?  Hasn't he taken the law into his hands?  Why cannot anyone reform this undesirable minister who is behaving like a mad man?

The opposition and the JVP vehemently condemned the latest incident. The Free Media Movement condemned it. According to newspaper reports, the President just before he left for Beijing had 'warned' the Minister. 

Has this incorrigible Minister obeyed even the President who has made him the non-cabinet Labour Minister although he couldn't get even 2500 votes at the last elections?  All warnings issued seem to enter through one ear and out of his other ear.

The biggest joke is that one minister after another appear on TV, some with a broad grin like Maithripala Sirisena, and some like Susil Premajayanth without even a hint of a smile, and condemn Mervyn Silva's attack on media personnel. 

Premajayanth's lame excuse for his colleague's shameful behaviour is that some people have habits and manners peculiar to them.  Can he just get away by saying this?  Shouldn't they correct and reform him?

Sirasa media personnel didn't just go there to take Mervyn Silva's photographs.  They went there because they received invitations for the function from the relevant ministry. Mervyn Silva and his goons manhandling the media personnel and trying to grab their cameras and other equipment is clearly visible, and his utterings are clearly audible on the TV footage.  Seeing is believing. So who is fooling whom?

According to Maithripala Sirisena, Mervyn Silva will get his punishment in his next birth, because he says God will punish him.  Till then the people will have to bear the atrocities of this unruly man.  The media minister made a statement only after four days of the incident taking place.  He also condemned his dastardly deed.  Will his condemning solve the problem?

The recent attack on Sirasa is not an isolated incident.  There have been a chain of incidents starting with the Rupavahini episode in December 2007.  Didn't the government appoint a committee?

According to a newspaper of August 7, Nimal Siripala de Silva seems to have said that the final report of the ministerial committee appointed by the SLFP to inquire into the incident at the state owned Rupavahini Corporation involving Mervyn Silva would be submitted only after the provincial council elections.  Cannot they conduct the elections without this political thug?

Already he has started his election violence.  On July 28 he attacked a JVP candidate's shop in Nuwaragala in Polonnaruwa District causing damage to the shop and some vehicles.  He had even used his famous pistol.  Whatever he does, he knows he will be pardoned by the President and the police.

Why cannot the police at least question Mervyn Silva when the TV footage of the attack on Sirasa media personnel was shown?  About a week ago three policemen from the Kiribathgoda Police Station collected video tapes of the incident.  These tapes will prove that the Minister attacked the Sirasa media men and seized their camera and other equipment.  Why cannot the police take action now?

Is it because of the orders they have received from the top?  What the people fear is that the Minister is carrying out government contracts.  Is the government going to let him continue his ignominious acts and let the citizens, especially the media men suffer for ever?

A Concerned Citizen


Politicians and their wealth: before and after

Very many of the species known as politicians dabble in politics with the sole intention of making use of the positions and portfolios they hold to establish a sort of family business involving their kith and kin.  They take to politics by making an initial investment for their political campaign with monies raised from their cronies and businessmen around them.

After having won their seats and received their portfolios, they get down to doing business politically by appointing their kith and kin to key posts in their ministries and agencies under them.

They then initiate large scale development projects that could be undertaken by their ministries and team up with unscrupulous businessmen with whom they can manipulate tenders for these development projects and other business transactions to their advantage.  Their goal is to make millions of rupees from the transactions they put through with their dishonest business associates.

The more development projects and shady business transactions they put through, the more lucrative it would be for them.  They maintain that they have had to invest money to achieve their political status and so consider it their right to make good that money and more for themselves even by fraudulent means.

These politicians have become wise and would no longer invest the millions they have defrauded, in government securities for fear of being hounded out by vigilant civic minded people; nor would they deposit these in banks for fear of being discovered.  Instead they are said to stash their ill-gotten money in iron safes in their homes and when the surfeit of cash cannot be accommodated in the safes they are said to buy estates and gold jewellery in the name of their kith and kin.  After this is done any further surplus money is said to be packed in suitcases and hidden away under the politicians' beds.

Some other politicians have siphoned off their stolen money to their clandestine bank accounts in other countries and have invested in villas and orchards for their progeny in those countries.  Whilst maintaining a presence here, they visit those countries at intervals to survey their wealth there.

These politicians although they live very comfortable and luxurious lives are never contended and happy because they are always on the lookout to make more money.  They also spend sleepless nights thinking of what would happen to them if they are caught in the bribery net.

No sympathy should be shown to these rogues when caught, and the minimum sentence for those found guilty should be confiscation of the ill-gotten wealth and a jail sentence, the first six months of which should be with hard labour.

R. Senaratne


SAARC, SAARC - Shark, Shark

Sharks! Sharks! Sharks!  This un-earthly cry was being uttered by my neighbour as he came steaming into the living room. He was red in the face, breathing heavily and trying hard to complete what he had to say.  Settling him down on the sofa and helping him get back his breath, I asked him just what had scared the wits out of him. 

After calming down he tells me:  "The sharks have come to town, the city of Colombo is fortified and public roads closed down, offices have been closed and so it is with certain schools in Colombo.  Travelling within the city of Colombo has become a nightmare." 

Then it hit me - it was not 'Sharks' - but members of SAARC who had been 'courted' into coming to Sri Lanka by our carefree President, even though it was not the onus of SAARC to make it the venue.  It was another scheme of our President to scrape the bottom of the already bankrupt coffers of the country.

While on the subject of SAARC, I read a very enlightening column in a Sunday paper outlining the 'objectives' of this Third World body.  Reading them it made me realise the irony of it all - throughout the years of its existence which of these 'objectives' have been achieved?

(a) To promote the welfare of the people of South Asia and to improve their quality of life.  (Contrary to this, the quality of life has deteriorated to utter despair and suffering.  After the tsunami hit the island, people are still living in dilapidated structures with no basic amenities, 'human rights' degraded to animal status, destruction of homes in the guise of security needs, police atrocities and break down of law and order.)

(b) To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region.  (It does not need a rocket scientist to see the state of the economies of most SAARC countries - some embroiled in war and terrorism - while social progress and cultural development are in the hands of the police, ministerial goons and the culture of violence that takes pride of place.)

(c) Provide all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realise their full potential.  (As for living in dignity any Tamil national will tell you how the police and other armed forces treat them to midnight photo sessions or being roused from slumber and transported out of their homes unlawfully.  The full 'potential' has reached dizzy heights with the ministers' goons, police and armed groups terrorising and keeping citizens in subjection, including the media.)

(d) To contribute to mutual trust, understanding and appreciation of one another's problems.  (The region that comes under SAARC lacks trust and appreciation - all of them making suggestions but not much action being taken, while understanding and appreciation of each one's problems takes back stage.  Which of these nations can come to the aid of another?   Most of them are embroiled in terrorism and war or leaders moving the nation from day to day on false promises.)

(e) To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, cultural, technical and scientific fields.  (Can anyone believe this?  A large section of India's population is illiterate and in abject poverty while the leaders are more interested in 'nuclear' power.  Other  SAARC countries can neither manage their economic matters nor have  time to collaborate with each other due to the disastrous methods being used to run them.  For instance in the technical field Sri Lanka runs its only  national airline into the ground and the President gives his blessings to a bankrupt airline being run by a bunch of nincompoops that have emptied the government coffers and still run around with a begging bowl.  Regarding scientific fields, the defence authorities can assist in manufacturing facts and figures.)

Due to space constrains it is not possible to run through the rest of the objectives, but to that lot all I want to say is: Ha Ha Ha!

Brian Jansz


Chronic urine retention

I read with interest your article on the above in The Sunday Leader of July 13.  My problem is my inability to retain urine especially in the night having to get up about thrice, resulting in the involuntary passing of urine on the way to the toilet.

I had an enlarged prostrate and was operated on two years ago.  The doctor says my ailment is due to a weak bladder.  I have been taking a capsule named 'Tamdura' but without any success for the last three months.

I am 77 years old and a diabetic.  My diabetes is under control as I am taking tablets. Please be good enough to let me know your views on the matter.  Isn't there a permanent cure?  Are there any physical exercises that I should do?

J.E.A., Wattala


Sithy Cader

Innalillahi Waina Elaihe Rajioon

Sithy Cader a great social worker, strict disciplinarian and an able administrator suddenly passed away from our midst on August 1 like a banyan tree that was uprooted by a cyclone. 

She was a founder member of the Young Muslim Women's League which was inaugurated in June 1973 consisting of 20 young pioneering ladies for the upliftment of the less privileged in our society and for community development. 

She was our first President from 1973 - 1975.  This was her  stepping stone to serve humanity and opened the floodgates for her to enter other social organisations to render yeomen service.  She held various important positions in the league until her sudden demise. 

She initiated two major projects of the league - one of which was the maintenance of the female surgical ward 11 at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital in Kalubowila, Dehiwela in 1998.  She was also a member of the hospital committee.  She was the chairperson of the Educational Trust Fund which was her brainchild, granting scholarships to the underprivileged students for their university education.

She successfully fulfilled her duties as the chairperson of these two major projects.  Whatever she did, it was done with grit and determination.  She was an outstanding personality and made her mark both in the educational and social field.  In a fair, truthful and honest way she achieved what had to be achieved in all her social work. 

She is no more with us but her good work will be remembered forever by our members.  May Allah grant her jennathul firdous. Ameen.

President and members of the Young Muslim Women's League

Colombo 4

R. R. Nalliah

Gentleman par excellence

August 16 is the death anniversary of R.R. Nalliah, sportsman and gentleman, who lived life to the fullest. A Thomian, he was also an All Ceylon athletic record holder, so much so S. Thomas' awards an athletic trophy, R. R. Nalliah Challenge Cup for the best performance in the triple jump under 18.

He was a staunch supporter of the United National Party and was very close to former President J.R. Jayewardene. He was also the chief UNP organiser for the north and travelled with JR to Jaffna when necessary. He held many posts as chairman of State Printing Corporation and also competent authority for the Times Group of Newspapers.

His father, R.R. Nalliah senior was a leading crown proctor in Jaffna, and the mayor of Jaffna for a long time. A road has been named as R.R. Nalliah Street  in his memory.

R. R. Nalliah comes from a family of distinguished lawyers. After a degree from the university he passed out as a Barrister from Lincoln's University. He worked as a junior under G.G. Ponnambalam senior, and had the distinction of appearing in the Privy Council as junior to Sir Dingle Foot QC in the Contracts Commission. He was also a member of the delegation to the UN General Assembly in September '87.

When he was chairman, State Printing Corporation, he answered the call by printing 3.5 million school books in all three languages for free distribution. There was one thing that Nalliah and his staff were proud of when they produced for the first time in Sri Lanka the Ceylon Tourist Board pictorial diary cum calendar, which had all along being printed in Japan at huge cost.

It was indeed an irreparable loss to his beloved wife Nesie who was at that time the chairperson of the Colombo Gas & Water Co. Ltd., working director of Petroleum Corporation and director of the Board of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. She was also the Sri Lankan ambassador to Indonesia. R. R. Nalliah was a loyal and trustworthy friend, born into an aristocratic family, a gentleman par excellence, noble, nay nobility itself.

May his soul rest in peace.

A Friend


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